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Gorton Water Fountains

I have 2 1/8" Gorton D's I installed in a particularly "wet" section of my mains to increase the venting. They do vent very fast, impressively so for their size, but they squirt water like crazy. My Hoffman's in the same spot don't. Are the Gorton vents known for expelling water before closing up, or did I end up with a couple of lemons? I was told they were brand new, but I bought them off eBay so they could be problematic and passed off to me. Do they all have this symptom?



    Don't shoot the messenger. Air vents are not designed to hold back water. There is an underlying problem that needs addressing.
  • MDNLansingMDNLansing Member Posts: 297
    No Problems

    The water isn't really a problem BN. I've installed them at the end of two mains that connect together with a water trap. It's a location in the system designed to have standing water.

    I have them mounted on a 9" riser above the main, but I used 1/4" pipe, same as the air line venting. The Hoffman's have no problem with this configuration as their design must limit how much water can reach the top of the vent. I'm going to change that out and use 1" and 3/4" with a little header and riser. Like a miniature version of a typical boiler header. Hopefully I can keep the water down with a larger pipe. If not, there will be two slightly used Gorton D's on eBay soon.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 8,631

    The Gorton's have a float like the Hoffman vents and usually can hold more water than a Hoffman.

    I'm going to assume the Gorton D are a faster vent than whatever Hoffman you are using?  I've used both Hoffmans and Gortons and I'd call my self a Gorton man at this point.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

    Steam system pictures
    Central air project pictures
  • MDNLansingMDNLansing Member Posts: 297
    Much Faster

    The Gorton D is much faster than the Hoffman 76 Vacuum Vent. I wanted to speed up the venting, but didn't want to use 3 Hoffman's being that they cost over 100 each. I should have know better, skimping on materials bit me in the a$$. I'm still not convinced they aren't defective though. The way they spit water just doesn't seem right for a high quality vent, and I would say the Gorton is high quality.

    I'm rerigging it right now so I should know soon if the larger pipe lets the water stay down. Cold Sunday afternoon spent in a warm shop, with greasy hands, a few beers with buddies, and football on the TV. For some reason, I'm not even bothered by repiping it :)
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 8,631
    Not sure

    Not sure how you think a Hoffman would be different? Its a device that allows air to pass at a certain speed but shuts when it gets hot.

    A Hoffman venting at the same speed will pull water with it just like the Gorton.

    Can you post pictures of how these are installed? I think the 1/4" pipe is pulling water out of the main.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

    Steam system pictures
    Central air project pictures
  • MDNLansingMDNLansing Member Posts: 297
    SHouldn't Be

    I don't think they should be different. But they are acting different in my case. The Hoffman's mounted on 1/4" don't leak, but the Gorton's do. I actually think the Gorton's are defective. They do close once they get hot, but any water prior to that and they spit it out. When water gets to the Hoffman's, they gurgle a little, but don't leak. I'd expect a properly functioning Gorton to do the same. I think I got sold vents that someone else had issues with. If I can get them to work with bigger pipe I'll leave it at that. Otherwise, I'll get my money back from the seller and return them.

    Pictures coming later once I head back downstairs to fix it up.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 8,631

    Much faster venting means they will pull water with them.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

    Steam system pictures
    Central air project pictures
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 6,708
    So far as I know...

    main vents are not intended to close against water, although Hoffmans will do that.  As BN said, don't shoot the messenger, fix the problem.

    Perhaps the best fix would be to move the vents to a location where your mains don't have water in them... assuming that there is some very good reason for there to be water in the mains (other than condensate, which should be removed by drips, or flowing somewhere where it will be removed).

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • MDNLansingMDNLansing Member Posts: 297
    There is a reason

    I have vents at several locations along these mains. This particular location is the "end" of two mains that connect together with a water trap, then share a common dry return. Here's a picture of the general location. I have the vents on the other side of the main. You can't see them in this picture. This trap is always full of water and agitates when the boiler is steaming. This is where the water is coming from, and it is in fact supposed to be there. The second half of the right side main slopes to this spot. It's how the condensate gets to the dry return from that side. On the left side, the steam main is on top and the dry return is on the bottom. The main pitches to the trap, the return pitches away from it and back to the boiler.

    The vents are taped into the elbows of the water trap. So when the boiler fires and that water agitates some of it is drawn into the vent tube. I've just repiped it so the tap is 1/4" but transitions to 3/4" the goes vertical 9" in 3/4", then back horizontal for the antler. The vents are on the antler. So far so good. They are all dry and venting air like crazy. With the boiler already warm, they vent and close within 15 seconds of the boiler firing up. Once they close, steam is then pushed into the air return lines and closes the main vacuum vent for the system.

    This is an Eddy system that originally had a single restricted orifice on each main. Venting the mains took about 10 mins with that configuration. I added the Hoffman's and Gorton's to empty the air from the mains faster. I'm using multiple vents at multiple locations so I can balance it out. Some spots have 2 vents, some have 3. This is to allow the venting to happening consistently. I've got it balanced now so all the vents close at about the exact same time. Now, I vent the mains in 15 seconds, and the entire system in about 3 mins, depending on how cold the return lines and radiators are.

    In a nut shell, the water in this location is there for a reason. It's not the result of a problem.
  • JHprovidenceJHprovidence Member Posts: 51
    Don't know if this helps

    I have a similar problem inside my place rather than on a main line. The difference is between a vent rite or a gorton in the same location. The vent rite would close, but the gorton would vent more air. The down fall was the gorton then sputtered water. I figured out that there was too much air in my system that was not being vented before steam could get ahead of it. I believe the gorton sputters because I think it cools at a different rate than a hoffman style vent. With that being said all of that cooler air that needs to get out of my system pushes steam out with it as it cools the vents causing it to sputter. The vent rite would let a lot of air build up then sound like an air compressor going off. Don't know if this helps you with your issues, but that is one cause of water spurting for me.
  • steamedchicagosteamedchicago Member Posts: 55
    differt types of vent

    The Gorton (and the very similar Maid o'mist) are different from the Hoffman (and just about every other vent on the market).  They have a bimetallic strip, attached to a rod with the stopper ball on the top of it. (There is also a float, which can shut the vent if the thing really flood, but that's not important for this.)  As the vent gets hot, the strip bends, and lifts the rod.  It closes gradually, as the temperature rises.  And if it doesnt get quite hot enough, it won't close all the way.  I had MoM  that never closed all the way, which I suspect was a strip that wasn't bent right.  The ones that work are quiet, and there's no ping! to wake you up in the middle of the night.

    Hoffman, and every thing else, have a brass capsule, which is partially filled with a low boiling point fluid.  they're soldered shut with the fluid in the vapor state, so at room temperature, the capsule is under vacuum.   that pulls one side in, like the lid of a canning jar.  When the vent gets hot, the fluid boils, the side snaps back to its normal poition, and the vent closes.  (That's the ping! some vents make as they open and close.)  So It's either open, or it's closed, never half closed. 

    I suspect the reason that the gorton and MoM vents spit is because they're shorter, and they vent air faster.  Faster air means it can carry more water, shorter means less distance to move it.  They may not be as good at draining the condensate that forms in them, too, so there's more water to potentially blow out.
  • Mark NMark N Member Posts: 1,035
    Spitting Vent

    Let me get this straight you have vents designed to be placed on rads on your main and there spitting water.  The Gorton D has a 1/8" 90 degree shank and the Hoffman 76 has a 1/2" opening and is straight shank.  The Gorton most likely can't drain through that small opening on a main.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 8,631
    Gorton D

    Gorton D is also available with a straight 1/8" connection.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

    Steam system pictures
    Central air project pictures
  • MDNLansingMDNLansing Member Posts: 297
    Yes I Am

    Yes Mark, I'm using some 1/8" inch vents on the mains. They are s Chris stated straight shank and not the 90 degree styles. CFM per dollar the Gortons are a far better deal. I added 14 vents total and the cost of the Gortons was what made me try them. Now that I've up-sized the pipe to 3/4" there's no more water issue. The small pipe and high air flow was causing the problem. All is good now though, thanks.
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